As Singapore celebrates its 50th birthday, the nation is at a turning point. There are new leaders, and new challenges, including few places to grow or expand. But this cultural melting pot has big plans to remain one of the most livable places on the planet. From September 14-21 join CNN International correspondent Paula Newton as she looks at the unexpected ways Singapore is reinventing itself for the future, without losing sight of the past.
Highlights of the special week of coverage include:
Go inside the next generation of public housing and see how the lives of ordinary Singaporeans are being transformed. In Queenstown, local architecture firm WOHA has created diamond-shaped towers laid out around communal ‘Sky Villages’. There’s naturally-ventilated gardens and communal pavilions meant to foster interaction between neighbors. There’s also a roof garden on the 47th floor with multi-million dollar views.
Singapore’s food culture is at a junction, caught between the recipes of generations past and an infusion of flavors from other cultures. Food guru KF Seetoh introduces CNN to 24-year-old Douglas Ng who has taken over the wok from his grandmother, turning her heritage fishball recipe into something sought-after by the younger generation. Plus meet Jeremy Nguee, the chef behind the catering company Preparazzi, on a mission to protect the past, by taking familiar favorites, and translating them into modern-day adaptations that will appeal even to discerning palates.
Canoe around Pulau Ubin or Granite Island, a place untouched by development and boasting mangroves forest and tidal wetlands. Wildlife consultant Subaraj Rajathurai says the challenge is to bring the island into the future, finding ways to attract more visitors and boost the livelihoods of locals, while also maintaining its rich biodiversity.
Although known for its rules and traditions, Singapore is fast becoming the heart of the Southeast Asian startup scene. CNN follows serial entrepreneur Melvin Yuan to Block 71, an old factory turned creative complex to see his latest venture. CNN also meets Malaysian-born model-turned-entrepreneur Stephanie Chai who created luxury travel startup The Luxe Nomad to see why she chose Singapore to turn her dreams into reality.
Michael Callahan, who helped put Singapore on the global map with 28 HongKong Street, takes CNN on a journey to explore Singapore’s bar scene, which is exploding with secret doorways, ingredient rooms and pre-aged craft cocktails. Then meet Peter Chua, the first Singaporean-born celebrity bartender, who explains how the cocktail scene symbolizes the rising entrepreneurial and creative identity of the younger generation. Finally, it’s time to head to the heart of Chinatown to discover the bar of the future.